One of the most common parasitic diseases that may affect chickens is coccidiosis. The parasite causes the disease by entering the chicken’s system through the food and water it ingests if it’s contaminated with infected feces or soil.
The disease can spread from infected birds days before they exhibit any symptoms. Since chicks have a higher risk of infection, it makes sense to provide them with a medicated starter feed that contains amprolium to protect them from these parasites that cause infection.
What is Amprolium for chickens?
The most popular anticoccidial medication used in the US for preventing or treating infection in chickens is amprolium. This medication is officially approved by the FDA for use and it doesn’t have a withdrawal period.
It works by mimicking Vitamin B1 (thiamine), which is the vitamin that the cocci bacteria require to reproduce and grow inside the body of its host. Chickens that have ingested cocci will experience thiamine deficiency, which then causes malnutrition. Therefore, you shouldn’t administer this vitamin to your chickens if you’re treating them with amprolium.
How much amprolium for chickens
If you treat your chickens with amprolium, they may experience a few side effects. Before treatment, discuss this step with your vet to come up with the treatment plan. Also, other drugs could interfere with amprolium.
Inform your vet or pharmacist of the foods vitamins, supplements, herbal therapies, or medications you’re giving to your chickens, along with the schedules and dosages. You should also only administer multivitamins to your chickens if your vet gives you the green light.
Where to buy what you need
You can either check with your local poultry supplier if they sell amprolium or go online to purchase what you need. Corid 20% Soluble Powder is a widely-used medication that you can administer for prevention or treatment.
You would mix this into the water source of your chickens. You may also opt for Corid 9.6% Oral Solution instead. You can also administer this for prevention or treatment by also mixing it into the water source.
Another option is Manna Pro Chick Starter, which is a complete chick feed with amprolium to prevent coccidiosis. It comes in crumbled form making it perfect for chicks.
When to administer
You can either administer this medication to prevent infections (if you know that they have come into contact with infected animals) or you can administer the medication to treat the disease. When administering amprolium, make sure to stick with the proper feeding schedules of your chickens too. You can start feeding your chickens with layer mash as soon as they lay their first egg.
Just remember that you shouldn’t give layer mash to chickens that aren’t laying eggs yet. Layer mash contains calcium levels that are significantly higher compared to other rations. Moreover, you can provide supplemental calcium sources like oyster shells to older laying hens to help maintain the quality of the eggshells they produce.
As for broiler chicks, you shouldn’t feed them turkey starters. Broiler chicks grow quickly and if you feed them a concentrated diet, there is a danger of developing growth issues, which may lead to conditions like water belly or heart failure. You must maintain the growth of your broilers at a moderate pace. For one, they must go without eating for at least 8 hours each day. You can give them 8 hours of complete darkness each night so that they will sleep instead of eating.
How to Administer Amprolium?
For the medication to work effectively, you must follow exactly what the veterinarian prescribes. You should also read the prescription label too, to make sure that you administer the drug properly.
If the drug comes in liquid form, you should measure it carefully. Often, pharmacists or veterinarians will provide you with special measuring syringes or spoons for accurate measurement.
For chickens and other animals, amprolium has an unpleasant taste. If you have any issues with your chickens not taking the medicine, call your pharmacist or veterinarian to ask for tips that will help you with dosing and reduce medication time stress.
If your vet instructs you to mix the medication into the drinking water of your chickens, it must be the only water source available for them. Measure how much your chickens drink. There might be times when your chickens would stop drinking the treated water because of the unpleasant taste. When this happens, your chickens might start showing symptoms of dehydration like dry mouth or reduced urination. In such a case, you must reach out to your vet immediately.
You can administer amprolium at different treatment durations. Just make sure that you know exactly how long your vet tells you to keep administering the drug. There might be a need for prescription refills for the completion of the treatment. Before you stop administering amprolium, consult with your vet as they might have reasons for its continued use.
Is Amprolium effective?
Yes, it’s effective. The treatment will work right away if you start at the earliest signs of infection. Amprolium is the most commonly used drug in the treatment of chickens in the backyard or small farm settings. But there are other medications you can choose from too.
Merchants sell amprolium under the brand name Corid and it comes in powdered or liquid form. Either way, it’s recommended to mix this drug with the drinking water so that it will enter their system right away and work effectively. In most cases, when combined with water, you can use this medication for 3 to 5 days for a successful treatment.
Most chicken raisers will agree that it’s impossible to keep chickens from coming in contact with some form of the parasite that causes coccidiosis. You can minimize the risk by keeping your chicken’s food and water clean and always keeping their bedding fresh. This will help reduce the exposure while allowing your chickens to build their immunity to the disease naturally.
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Amprolium is the only active pharmaceutical ingredient approved by the FDA to use in preventing or treating coccidiosis in chickens. Amprolium has compatible with antibiotics, minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients that are commonly added to poultry rations.
Also, you shouldn’t use amprolium with high concentrate choline levels as the picric acid content may start breaking down. Keep all of these in mind if you plan to use this medication to prevent or treat your chickens.